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Wholesale watch batteries can be quite tricky to purchase when you’re unsure what to look for. It’s important to get a better understanding of how they work before adding them to your retail collection.
Read more about button cell batteries and their distinctive features in the following guide.
It’s important to note that there are three main types, based on their chemistry: silver oxide, alkaline, and lithium. Lithium watch batteries are typically 3 volt cells, while silver oxide and alkaline are 1.5 volt cells. When choosing batteries, you can start with the voltage, as that helps you understand whether the battery is suitable for a certain type of watch. In general, the lithium ones are larger and have the prefixes CR or BR.
A battery’s capacity is expressed in milliAmp hours (mAh). This figure suggests both how much current the battery can supply and for how long it can do so. For instance, a battery which has a capacity of 60mAh will supply 60 milliAmps for an hour and 30 milliamps for two hours.
Shelf life is determined by a battery’s chemistry and storage temperature. As a general rule, at 21 degrees Celsius, both silver oxide and alkaline batteries lose less than 10% yearly, while lithium button cells lose less than 2% annually. The shelf life increases with the decrease in storage temperature. Lithium batteries last a year or two, silver oxide ones last between three and five years, and alkaline ones last for one year.
Battery prefixes depend on who makes the button cells. Manufacturers who choose the prefix SR to refer to silver oxide watch batteries typically use LR to denote alkaline button cells. Those who choose SG to refer to silver oxide batteries generally use AG to denote alkaline cells.
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The letters at the end of the reference number are different. One is W and the other is SW. In the case of silver oxide ones, you’ll usually notice different suffixes for the same battery. For instance, you might see a SR1130W and a SR1130SW. SW means the battery is suitable for low drain devices, while W denotes the cell works for high drain devices. Note that SW batteries are normally used for watches without backlights.
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Button cell batteries vary in type and size. The most common watch battery types are 371 and 377 and the most common watch battery sizes are 9.5 mm in diameter and 2.1 mm in height for the 371 one and 6.8 mm in diameter and 2.6 mm in height for the 377 one.
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